Google tries selling apps in vending machines

Published: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 @ 9:07 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 @ 9:07 AM

In Japan, you can find a vending machine where you can buy just about anything.

Machines there are known to dispense everything from an order of fries to a really quick shoeshine. (Via Geobeats)

Now, Google Japan is unveiling a vending machine for apps. A writer for Gearburn says you should expect a different delivery method, though. (Via YouTube / Google Play)

“The games … don’t roll out of spiral loops, or drop down like cold cans of Cola. No sir, each app is beamed to an Android smartphone over Bluetooth 4.0 or NFC.”

According to Engadget’s Mat Smith — you just set your phone in the tray and it starts downloading your app purchase. If you don’t have an Android phone, the machine will let you borrow this Nexus 4 to test-drive free apps.

Google is offering a mix of free and paid apps — 18 in all. But besides the novelty of it, what’s the idea?

A writer thinks: “Google could be using this as a method of testing rapid-fire app gifting. If users had the ability to ‘beam’ purchase codes for apps from one user to another on Google Play, the end result could be very positive.”

And TechnoBuffalo points out that while Google hasn’t really flexed its retail muscles in the U.S. —

“In Asia … the search giant takes a more aggressive approach, and already boasts a number of Android Nation brick and mortar stores in Indonesia and India.”

Google’s app vending machines are set up outside a department store in Tokyo’s Shibuya shopping district.

See more at

Who is 'Gary from Chicago'? Surprise Oscars guest sparks memes

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 4:12 AM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 4:12 AM

            Who is 'Gary from Chicago'? Surprise Oscars guest sparks memes

Move over, Casey Affleck and Emma Stone: A new Oscars darling is in the limelight.

"Gary from Chicago" – whose full name is Gary Cole – became a social media sensation after he and other members of a Hollywood tour group were the targets of a prank by Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel. The unsuspecting tourists thought they were going to visit a museum but instead were led into the Dolby Theatre during the awards show's live broadcast. There, they were introduced to the A-list celebrities in the front row, including Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer, Ryan Gosling and Denzel Washington.

>> Jimmy Kimmel surprises Hollywood tourists with Academy Awards visit

But Cole, wearing a baseball cap and carrying a large bag, quickly emerged as the real star of the show, kissing actresses' hands and recording everything on his cellphone.

"I feel like you're ignoring the white celebrities," Kimmel joked at one point.

>> Social media reacts to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land' gaffe

"I am, though," Cole replied, laughing.

Kimmel then spoke to a woman, who introduced herself as Cole's fiancee, Vicky.

>> Complete list of winners

"Who's your favorite actor?" Kimmel asked her.

"That man right there," she said, pointing at Washington.

>> PHOTOS: 2017 Oscars red carpet arrivals

"Denzel, will you be the best man at their wedding?" Kimmel asked.

Washington then got up and stood between the stunned couple as Vicky held a cellphone on a selfie stick. 

>> PHOTOS: 2017 Oscars show

"I now pronounce you husband and wife," Washington said. "Kiss the bride."

As the pair kissed, Kimmel quipped, "He's Denzel so it's legal."

>> Watch the moment here

>> Read more trending stories

It didn't take long for the internet to fall in love with Cole and his fiancee.

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying

GOP Congress returns with big blanks to fill on health care

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 3:30 AM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 3:42 AM

After talking for the past six years about why they would repeal and then replace the Obama health law, Republicans lawmakers in the Congress return to Washington this week with many in both parties still waiting to see exactly what choices the GOP will make on changes to the nation’s health care system.

“Republican Senators are leading the charge to repeal Obamacare,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on Sunday.

Just before the Congress left town for a ten day break, Speaker Paul Ryan said he would be ready as early as this week to roll out the fine print of the GOP plan.

“After the House returns, following the President’s Day (break), we intend to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Ryan said.

The broad outlines of what the GOP wants to do are well known – but for reporters, industry lobbyists and lawmakers, the missing piece here is the nitty gritty details of the legislative text that will be extraordinarily important – along with the cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

So far, we have neither when it comes to the GOP health plans.

In the meantime, the GOP message is much the same as it has been for the past few years – Obamacare did not work, and will not work in the future, so it must be replaced.

The Speaker issued his own “Better Way” plan for health care reform back in June – but it has never been translated publicly into actual bill language, and no estimates have been released on the budgetary numbers.

Among the important unanswered questions for Republicans:

+ How much will the GOP health care bill cost
+ What parts of the Obama health law will be kept (staying on insurance until age 26, preexisting conditions have often been mentioned by GOP lawmakers)
+ How many people would be expected to gain or lose coverage
+ What taxes from the Obama health law will be repealed, changed or kept in place
+ How will the plan deal with expanded Medicaid eligibility, which has prompted questions from some GOP Governors
+ How will subsidies under the Obama health law be changed

Many more details would be in the fine print of the bill.

Republicans return to Capitol Hill after watching some of their colleagues take it on the chin at town hall meetings on the issue of health care, as supporters of the Obama health law tried to use the Congressional break of the past week to put GOP lawmakers on the defensive over possible changes.



My readout of the current situation in Congress has not changed one bit in the last few years – Republicans want to get rid of the Obama health law and institute their own policy changes, but they still don’t have one single plan that GOP lawmakers have agreed to vote for.

There are a number of cross-currents inside the Republican Party that may make it difficult to get a majority on any GOP plan in both the House and Senate.

And then there is the opposition of Democrats in the Congress, as they are more than ready to pounce on the actual details.

The time line for the GOP is to roll out the plan in coming weeks, and then have a vote on it before the House and Senate go home on a break for Easter.

We will be here every step of the way in the halls of Congress with the latest details.


health26 2 hours ago

Oscars 2017: Social media reacts to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land' gaffe

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 1:56 AM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 1:56 AM

            Oscars 2017: Social media reacts to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land' gaffe


The 89th annual Academy Awards went out with a bang – an epic mixup over which film took the Oscar for best picture.

>> 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after 'La La Land' mistakenly announced

>> Complete list of winners

>> PHOTOS: 2017 Oscars red carpet arrivals

>> PHOTOS: 2017 Oscars show

After Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, who were apparently given the wrong winner's card, announced that "La La Land" had won the award, producer Jordan Horowitz made a shocking revelation onstage as the filmmakers were giving their thank-yous: "Moonlight" was the real victor.

Celebrities and fans immediately took to social media to share their reactions. 

>> Click here or scroll down to see what they had to say


Trader Joe's recalls apple sauce for glass

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 9:45 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 9:45 PM

            Trader Joe's recalls apple sauce for glass

Grocery chain Trader Joe’s says it is recalling certain varieties of its apple sauce because of the potential presence of glass.

The First Crush Unsweetened Gravenstein Apple Sauce best before Aug. 8; Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce best before Oct. 6; and All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce best before Dec. 16 have been removed from shelves and destroyed.

>> Read more trending news

“If you purchased any of these Unsweetened Apple Sauce products with the affected codes, please do not eat it,” the company said in a release. “We urge you to discard the product or return it to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund.”